What to know about 2020's unique spring housing market

 

Kicking off at the end of March, spring signals the start of homebuying season…at least it used to. As you know, the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything about this spring—including the real estate market.
 
The months of April through July traditionally account for more than 40% of all housing transactions. 2020 has been much different. This year's homebuying season started in January due to record low mortgage rates, low inventory and high demand. In fact, just prior to the pandemic, the housing market was hot—with sales at their best levels in over a decade and multiple offer situations part of the norm. 

While we understand that there may be a short-term decline in activity due to the coronavirus, it could provide just the right opportunity to purchase a home at a good price.  During the economic recovery, it is likely that housing will lead the way.  
 
Here's what else you should know:

What are mortgage rates doing?

 Simply put: They're fluctuating, but still remain at historic lows.
 
In March, the Federal Reserve moved to stabilize the economy by passing a $2 trillion stimulus package and by cutting interest rates. This has resulted in keeping mortgage rates low. With the economy taking a hit from the health crisis, and many Americans dealing with reduced incomes, now may be a good time to look into refinancing. With rates at their current levels and housing prices remaining strong, homeowners could save money on their biggest monthly expense by refinancing.*

How's the housing market?

Simply put: It's interesting.
 
Since March, construction has slowed and supply lines have been disrupted, resulting in fewer new homes being built which could lead to supply side issues in the market. Although there has definitely been a slow down in the purchase market, the industry has been quick to adapt with many new processes in place for virtual, no-contact transactions. 

What's next?

Simply put: High home prices and new homebuying tools. 

Home prices may be on the rise as inventory starts to tighten. However, mortgage rates are still low. If you can take advantage of these mortgage rates, it would be wise to do so when they're still low.
 
We will see new digital tools reshape the homebuying process. Expect deals to close without two people ever even stepping inside the same room together.

How is Guaranteed Rate helping customers and partners adapt?

Simply put: Our Digital Mortgage had us prepared.
 
The same technology and tools that have made our customer experience so seamless have proven extremely valuable right now. We have a 100% digital mortgage experience with 0% physical human contact.1

While we all work together to get through this, please know that we are here help you with any of your homebuying needs. Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Guide for up-to-date information on available mortgage relief options.

[1] Contact free closing may require the use of Flash Close eClose and an alternate appraisal type. Full eClose is not currently available in all states. It is not eligible for all loan types or investors. Conventional loans only. Eligible for primary, 2nd home and investment properties. Title company restrictions may apply. Eligibility for alternate appraisal type varies by loan type, investor, and LTV (loan-to-value). Restrictions apply. Alternative appraisal options are not available on FHA, USDA, and Nonconforming Investor transactions. Not all applicants will be approved. Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval.
 
*Savings, if any, vary based on consumer credit profile, interest rate availability and other factors. Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Restrictions apply. 

Sources

The Washington Post

HousingWire 

Curbed

All information provided in this publication is for informational and educational purposes only, and in no way is any of the content contained herein to be construed as financial, investment, or legal advice or instruction. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. does not guarantee the quality, accuracy, completeness or timelines of the information in this publication. While efforts are made to verify the information provided, the information should not be assumed to be error free. Some information in the publication may have been provided by third parties and has not necessarily been verified by Guaranteed Rate, Inc. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. its affiliates and subsidiaries do not assume any liability for the information contained herein, be it direct, indirect, consequential, special, or exemplary, or other damages whatsoever and howsoever caused, arising out of or in connection with the use of this publication or in reliance on the information, including any personal or pecuniary loss, whether the action is in contract, tort (including negligence) or other tortious action.

 

Why Get Pre-Qualified?

1. Pre-qualification acts as a dry run of the loan application process. The mortgage lender will use details you provide about your credit, income, assets and debts to arrive at an estimate of how much mortgage you can afford. The whole process may take only minutes or a few hours at most, and is free.

2. While a "pre-qual" is non-binding to the lender (because the information you provide has not been verified), it does serve as a good indication to potential sellers of your general creditworthiness.

3. These days most sellers will NOT accept an offer without at least a pre-approval letter, so if you are serious about buying this is the first step towards getting you in your new home.


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